I have received an email from Michael Boyle, who is Mr Brian Boyle’s son. Michael was 3 years of age and 5 when he left Penang so his memories are ‘thin’, but enough nevertheless to experience moments of nostalgia today. Fortunately he came across the RAAF School website and has been in touch. An extract of his message follows, which I relay with permission.
It is with some sadness that I must advise you that dad passed away in May of 2012 at the remarkable age of 93 after a short illness. Until the very last, dad retained his rather considerable mental faculties and we would often speak at length about our shared time in Malaysia. My remembrances were obviously those of a young child but dad helped fill in the blanks with tales that I did remember, snake charmers, street vendors, amazing religious festivals and so on plus a vast collection of photos.
Continuing on the sad note, Michael’s mother passed away 5 months after his father.
And further, their neighbour managed to burn down their garage/office. …Nothing was salvaged so all hard copies of dad’s quite considerable photo collection, amongst other things were destroyed. However, dad when he was in his 70’s became bored with building things and playing tennis every other day so he took it upon himself to learn ‘to drive a computer’. Over the following years he digitised much of his photo collection. The computer was also in the garage but through sheer luck I had taken it from the office the week before the fire to acquire the images and various other personal things.
Quite a story. I am glad I have a hard copy of the book Mr Boyle put together, The RAAF School Penang, in case it is not to be found on the computer.
So, I am really sorry to be the bearer of this sad news. You may be interested to know though, that I did telephone Mr Boyle to invite him to each of the Penang reunions, but he could not attend. He’ll always be “Mr” Boyle to me.
I appreciate Michael getting in touch, and he is going to go through the photos on the computer to see what we can share on the website.